Cllr John Caller named new Mayor of Gravesham
At a very different Annual Council meeting, with the majority of participants online and social distancing measures in place for officials at the Civic Centre, Cllr John Caller, 57, was announced as The Mayor of Gravesham on Tuesday (12 May).
Cllr Caller said: “This isn’t perhaps a ‘normal’ Mayoral speech in that we aren’t having the typical annual council ceremony but in usual Gravesham style, we will do our best.
“Firstly I’d like to thank and congratulate Cllr Gurdip Bungar, his wife and their family for doing such an amazing job last year, he will be a very hard act to follow.
“May I also take this opportunity to thank everyone in Gravesham for following Government guidelines and staying home during this difficult time and helping your friends, family and neighbours where possible. This has been a very difficult time for many of you and I am so proud to be a part of our community. Our NHS, emergency services and key workers in the Borough and across the UK have shown incredible bravery and are showing themselves to be superheroes every day.
“My wife Sue and I would like to send our deepest sympathies and best wishes to all those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic. Every lost life must be remembered. All we do in this Mayoral year will be dedicated to the memory of those Gravesham people we have lost.
“More than any time since the war the Mayor will need to engage and be the champion of the Community, and when this is over lead a celebration of unity and change, where those that kept our way of life going and looked after our health continue to be held in the highest regard.
“I will not be announcing a Mayoral Charity. Any money that comes in will be distributed locally to where it can do the most good around our caring Borough. Sue and I will volunteer our time helping charities and organisations that have been helping us and bringing benefit to our wider community.
“Those organisations now need help themselves to be able to carry on the good work that they do for us. As well as money, they need volunteers. So hopefully we can do some work of benefit for them, and indeed, once we are out of lockdown encourage other people to join us to rebuild our community and help those that are in need.
“I joined the council in 1999 encouraged and mentored by my Uncle Colin Caller who very sadly lost his fight against cancer this year. I will miss his guidance and timely interventions. Through his years of service and improving our local community in Westcourt and Gravesham as a whole, he is still very much with us in spirit.
“It was a great honour to be elected Mayor in 2014 and to be given the opportunity to be First Citizen again is beyond any words of pride I have.
“Sue and I will serve this fine Borough in a different way this year, helping and supporting our community, not just representing it but being sanitized hands on.
“My wife and I look forward to hearing from any organisation that needs help or to promote the good work they are doing. Let us all work together to make this fine Borough the best that it could possibly be.
“Stay safe and keep following the Government guidelines“
The Mayor’s escort and Mayoress will be Sue Caller, Cllr Caller’s wife.
Deputy Mayor will be Cllr Lyn Milner.